Cabinet takes back decision to hold Nawaz, Maryam’s trial in jail

Cabinet takes back decision to hold Nawaz, Maryam’s trial in jail

The federal cabinet on Wednesday took back decision to hold trial of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and members of his family in the two pending cases inside jail.  Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk presided over a meeting of the cabinet in Islamabad in which a number of important decisions were made.

The cabinet decided to withdraw a notification to conduct trial of the Sharif family in the two cases in Adiala jail. Briefing about the meeting, Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Barrister Syed Ali Zafar said trial of the former premier and his daughter Maryam Nawaz will now be held in open court.

He explained that the decision to try them inside jail was taken in accordance with the NAB law. Earlier, the government had issued a notification to conduct trial of the former premier in the two NAB cases in prison. His lawyer, however, has challenged the decision to hold jail trial.

As the Avenfield case has been wrapped up, while two NAB cases, including Al-Azizia/Hill Metal Establishment, are pending. In the two remaining references Nawaz Sharif and his two sons have been named as accused. On July 6, the PML-N supreme leader was awarded 10 years in prison, while his daughter Maryam and her spouse Capt. Safdar were handed seven years’ and one year’s prison term, respectively.

Safdar was arrested on July 8 while the former premier and his daughter were arrested on the night of July 13 exactly a week after their conviction in the NAB case. Judge Muhammad Bashir ordered forfeiture of their properties in the Avenfield Apartments and Park Lane of London. He imposed a fine of £8 million (approximately Rs1,292m) on the former premier and £2 million (approximately Rs323m) on his daughter. Besides, three convicts were awarded an additional one-year imprisonment, which will run concurrently for not cooperating with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).